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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So itís been 9 months, and I finally gave ďbirthĒ via c-incision (chest) to a .5 ounce pointy headed ďbabyĒ with itís umbilical (catheter) still attached. Itís name is PORTia. We chose this name because every time we see it, it will remind us that the money we would have had to spend (if we didnít have insurance) would have bought us a Porsche, a Ferrari and probably more. But no matter what the cost, the final results is priceless!

YES!!! My most recent PET scan showed zero uptake which says I am free of cancer!!!

While these 9 months have been hard, emotional and scary and I never hope to repeat them, they have taught me something very important things I wouldnít trade...

I have an amazing family and awesome friends.
I am stronger than I ever thought, more so than my original belief of this after my first marathon.
I can handle the pain without the drugs, but will use them when I feel it is necessary - they donít show weakness.
I wonít sweat the little stuff and most problems are little. If I canít fix them they will many times fix themselves.
Exercise is my friend. It got me though the cancer treatment by helping both physically and mentally, and is now helping me get back my energy.
IĒm going to have to learn to work with my chemo induced joint pain because the alternative isnít acceptable.
Iím not going to complain about how expensive insurance is, not having it would have cost more.
Mend fences.
The past is in the past, let it lie, let it die.
Now is what counts.
The future will come no matter what, so work to make it a good one.
I always wondered what I would look like with no hair... now I know.
It is health and not weight that matters.
Listen to your body.
Make the doctor listen to you or get a different doctor.
Donít fear the diagnosis, face it head on, and work to fix it, if at all possible.
Celebrate! There is always something worth celebrating.

While I wouldnít want to go through the last 9 months again, I wouldnít want to give back what I learned during my cancer journey.

I didnít just give ďbirthĒ to my port today, I gave birth to a new life.

For those who are curious, I will be checked every 3 months with an exam and a CT scan every 6 months for the next 2 years, but the probability of the cancer returning is extremely small.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XENA1956 6/19/2013 8:39PM

    I was so glad to read this blog and find out that all is well with you and that the cancer is gone. I am sorry I wasn't here to support you while you were going through with all your cancer treatment. Do know that I did think of you often and wondered about your out come, along with blessings on your return to good health. xo Teri emoticon

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SOCKITTOME 4/26/2012 10:06PM

    Woot woot woot woot!!!!!! Congrats on getting through a very tough journey with such flair and grace. You are awesome!!

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SPARKFRAN514 4/19/2012 7:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CIVIAV 4/19/2012 5:07PM

    And before you know it you'll be 5 years free and clear! Go Woman Go!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 4/19/2012 8:00AM

    I love 'club NED' (No evidence of disease). Way to go!!!!

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BAKER1009 4/19/2012 7:55AM

    That is wonderful news!

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COACH_NICOLE 4/19/2012 7:36AM

    So happy for you!

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CARLANNIE 4/19/2012 7:33AM

    I am so dang happy for you! What a struggle you have been through. And I love all your bullet points there - they are all so true. Any chance you can still take that trip to Europe?

Just know I'm doing the Happy Dance for you over here!!! emoticon

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CORNERKICK 4/19/2012 12:00AM

  Awesome news!

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LAURACONNER 4/18/2012 11:41PM

    Oh Janet - I am so, so happy, ecstatic for you and your family. You are amazing and strong and my role model. God's so great!!!! Hugs coming your way, hugs, hugs, hugs!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEST_OF_ARIN 4/18/2012 11:25PM

    So awesome!!! I'm so happy for you! What great news for you and your family!

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LAURIE5658 4/18/2012 10:52PM

    Hallelujah! Simply said.


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Take Two - Good But Waiting

Monday, January 16, 2012

Some may have noticed that Iíve been somewhat absent from SP, for a while. While I kept up with the two teams Iím leader on, I only posted elsewhere occasionally.

Well, since November life has been a bit more challenging. While doing a half marathon on November 5, I ended up with major blisters on both feet. This took me out of walking totally for a long time. I missed my next and final half of the year, and all the 5Ks I would normally do here at home during November and December, because the chemo I was on prevented the blisters from healing in their usual quick manner.

On top of the blisters I caught the Colorado Crud... a viral upper respiratory infection that I have only recently gotten over, with the exception of a lingering cough. Something else that kept me away from walking.

I had my final chemo infusion at the end of November. This was my hardest cycle yet, what with the crud and blisters added to the worst side effects I had throughout the entire lymphoma treatment. This cycle brought on a UTI and the shingles along with more nausea and GERD than in the past cycles.

Late December I had my post chemo PET\CT scan. I went to my next doctor appointment believing that everything was done... the lymphoma would be in total remission and I would be getting out my port before the start of the new year. But the universe decided to play another cruel trick on me. There was a new area of uptake (glowy bits) in the lymph nodes under my left arm. There was immediate talk of biopsy. Then the fact that I was currently fighting shingles and they were on my left bicep came up. Could this be the cause? While it was decided that the shingles could very well be the cause, my oncologist decided that I needed to get a mammogram just to be certain because it could be from BREAST CANCER. Ok, my brain goes numb at this point. Iím told they donít expect to find anything, itís just a precaution. So I go home and schedule my mammo and an ultrasound of the lymph nodes in my left armpit.

Tuesday the 27th comes and I head in for the tests. The ultrasound of my armpit showed nothing of concern in the lymph nodes. The mammo on the other hand did. Time to schedule a core biopsy. They donít expect to find anything, itís just a precaution.

So I go home and leave a message with the hospital radiology unit about scheduling it. Then I get a call from the radiologist who read my mammo films and he wants me to come back for additional films of another area. So I end up back at the imaging center the next day for more films (a total of 12 on the left, yes ladies you can groan now) and another ultrasound of the breast. The radiologist decides that new area is ok, and I just need to biopsy the original area of concern.

So, the biopsy is set up for January 3. I get the results on Friday the 6th. They see more items of concern, something that could be nothing or it could be the beginning of cancer. I need to schedule a surgical excisional biopsy (aka lumpectomy). They donít expect to find anything, itís just a precaution.

I meet with the surgeon on the 9th and surgery is set for the 11th.

While everyone is telling me that I have to believe everything is going to be alright, I canít do this. Iíve been told constantly that they donít expect to find anything, itís just a precaution, too many times.

The day after the surgery, I go to see my oncologist for a scheduled appointment. During the last one all the focus was on the new area of uptake and getting the mammo and ultrasound. No mention of the original lymphoma.

The first thing he asks is when I plan on having the excision? I tell him, ďYesterday. Yes, I had the surgery the day before. I add that I had hoped my next visit to the surgeon would have been to have the port removed.Ē He tells me he wonít have the results until Monday. This I already know. Finally, he addresses the lymphoma. I am in total remission and we are done with it. Finally some GOOD news and I think yea I can get the port out soon. Then the ďbutĒ comes. But he wonít have my port removed until after my next PET/CT in April. He wants to know that the new area of uptake is gone. I understand the reasoning, but to me that says we are not done, yet. This also now puts the proverbial final nail in coffin of my hoped for trip to Europe in April - I had already come to believe that it probably wouldnít happen, especially if the biopsy isnít in my favor.

Today is Monday, January 16, and I called my oncologist at 7:30 a.m. to get the results of my biopsy, as instructed. He hasnít seen it, but looks it up online. It has come back clean, no cause for concern. He tells me to go celebrate. I canít yet.

Yes, Iím relieved, but still feel that things wonít be DONE until my PET/CT comes back clear and I get the port removed. Only then can I celebrate.

So, Iíve gotten good news, but Iím still waiting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURACONNER 3/2/2012 8:16PM

    Hi Janet: I am sorry your journey to be rid of cancer is so slow - it must be torture to go through all the scans, waiting, biopsy, tests, films.....
You are an inspiration to us all. You have been so strong, focused and fit during your struggles. God Bless you and I am praying that you will soon have the good news - that YOU ARE CANCER FREE!! emoticon emoticon

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NMMAMA2011 1/20/2012 9:54PM

    Wow, what a ride you have been on. I am so so so happy to hear that you are cancer free. My mom just finished chemo for breast cancer and is now doing radiation. She went through a similar scare with a spot on her lung and it seems like she won't trust that she is cancer free until she gets a clear PET scan either. I am going to keep you in my thoughts. I re-read your Warrior Dash blog, btw.

Do you know that you are AMAZING?

When I read it before, my mom hadn't started her chemo yet. Now that I watched her go through 4 rounds of chemo I am absolutely floored that you did the Warrior Dash just days after your 1st chemo treatment. My observation is that chemo is harder than childbirth. It is brutal. And you leaped over flames just after doing that? Wow. Incredible!

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CO_VANESSA 1/17/2012 12:24PM

    I cannot begin to understand your struggle. But I hope you can take the small amount of good news about the lymphoma not showing up and rejoice in the one little victory. It's the small steps that'll get you to your ultimate goal (being cancer free and no port attached). Think of this as just one step closer.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CIVIAV 1/17/2012 10:54AM

    Keep breathing and get ready to celebrate...
It's a big lesson in managing anticipation of whatever. I remember it and now live it yearly. It seems you are in the almost over the hump stage. Hang in there!

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CARLANNIE 1/16/2012 8:23PM

    Okay, young lady - you just need to go with that good news and RUN WITH IT! Rejoice in it! Your brain will create all this positive, wild energy that will help you heal, and help fight those nasty cancer cells from invading - they will feel SO unwelcome, they'll just disappear, if they haven't already. RUN WITH IT! I feel so bad for all you've been through, but feel so delighted that you have this good news to report. Just RUN WITH IT!!!! And I'll be running right behind you. emoticon

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SRVFREAK176 1/16/2012 5:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TWOBEESINLOVE 1/16/2012 5:06PM

    Oh my gosh, you have been through so much! I had been wondering how you were doing. Hugs!!

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 1/16/2012 5:02PM

    Janet, you are amazing!! So strong!! I am very happy for your good news!!!! Keep your chin up (like you always do) and we will keep sending prayers for your.

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HAMMLIN 1/16/2012 4:57PM

    Janet- I love you. I had no idea that there was so much more to what you were walking through than I knew. Please know, if you need anything (seriously, anything) at all, just ask.
Hugs hugs hugs

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LAURIE5658 1/16/2012 4:42PM

    Oh Janet, its like two steps forward and one (sometimes two) back. I am so very sorry you are going through this hell. We will continue to celebrate the positives and pray for the negatives. Please know that I am praying for you and hopefully soon we can put this thing to bed.


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Have you ever wondered if your part tans?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

On the 14th day (a Monday) of my first chemo cycle, my hair got itís evacuation notice. It like most in evacuation areas started with small numbers leaving - 5 or 6 hairs at a time. At this rate I figured it would take a long time for it to all be gone.

Day 15 was somewhat different. More of my hair started taking the evacuation notice more seriously. Those 5 or 6 hairs turned into a whole lot more. Not handfuls yet. And I wasnít rolling over at night into a small hamster on my pillow, but it was definitely making a more concerted effort at leaving.

Day 16, I brush my hair before heading out for my walk, and it is coming out in handfuls. After my walk I figure I need to prepare a little differently for my shower. I donít want to block the drain with a drowned hamster worth of hair, so I grab some paper towels to dry my hair after I wash it. While I scrub it with gently with the shampoo, I do not touch it during the rinse and just let the water wash over it. So far so good, the drain is still working.

After my shower I use the paper towels to soak up the water. I grab my wide tooth comb as suggested in my ďhow not to lose your hair so quicklyĒ information and gently comb working from the bottom up. Well, I donít know that the wide tooth comb saved any of my hair that was under full evacuation, but it did collect a whole lot of it.

Those with longer hair know that after combing it we usually gently run our hands down and remove any lose hairs left that the comb didnít remove. So I do this and end up with another handful.

In one shower I have gone from having a full head of hair to being very thin, especially on top.

So with this I decide that itís time to call in for my ďtime to shave it offĒ appointment with my stylist. We schedule the appointment for the next day. I spend the rest of the day cutting scarves from some of my fabric that I have lying around the house.

I head to bed wearing a scarf, but itís too hot so I take it off. Thankfully, I still avoid the hamster on the pillow issue. At least what hair I have is holding on at night.

Itís now Thursday, 3 p.m. I wait for my stylist to arrive as she is coming from school. She arrives with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. Her first question after finding out how I am is, ďAre you ready for this?Ē My response is, ďThat Iíd rather shave it off than look like a 90 year old, half bald person. Letís do this!Ē

My husband has come with me and I have him take pictures.

We start with taking a couple of clippings so I can compare my old hair with my new hair when it come back in.

Out comes the razor. She starts on the top. Now if this doesnít feel weird.

First we try the comb over. It may work, but only for a short while.

Keep going.

At one point we try out the ďmonkĒ look. No, this oneís not for me.

Keep going.

When the shaving was all done, we headed over to the sink for a quick rinse. As we passed by, several ladies having their nails done were staring and so my husband quipped, ďShe lost the bet.Ē This left them rather embarrassed but with smiles.

It was great to have this done with my husband supporting me and a stylist who made it fun.

That night, it felt like I was sleeping on velcro as what hair fuzz I had left got ďstuckĒ in the pillow case. So the next day I took my shaver to my head to remove as much of my velcro as possible.

I have the answer to my question, ďDoes your part tan?Ē I now have a racing stripe down my head from that tan part.

Iím finally getting used to the stranger who looks back at me from the mirror. As are my family and friends.

Many have asked me if Iím upset with losing my hair. I have to respond that losing hair is a small price to pay to reach a new healthy life. My hair will return, but I have no intention of letting the cancer do the same.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOCKITTOME 9/12/2011 9:13PM

    You go, girl! What a hoot seeing the pictures as you played with hairstyle possibilities, too. I never thought of doing that -- will try to remember this if I ever need to have chemo.

Hugs and keep up the good work (fighting back at the blasted C).

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6LHAAS 9/9/2011 11:51PM

    Janet, again you are an inspiration! You will Kick Cancers Butt!! Just like all those half-marathons!

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LAURACONNER 9/9/2011 9:16PM

    Hi Janet: Your smile says it all " I am going to destroy this cancer!!
You are amazing and a joy. You have the inner and outer strength of a warrior.
With your family beside you - you will win. God bless you for thinking of others - and responding to me. You are a fantastic friend to me and I wish we lived in the same area - would love to be there for you. All of us on sparkpeople are here for you - anything you need - just ask. emoticon emoticon

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HAMMLIN 9/9/2011 1:25PM

    Janet- You're beautiful and I love you. I'm so glad you're in my life.

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    You have an amazing attitude!! You remind me of my cousin when she went through the "time to shave it off" part of chemo - only after she shaved her head her hair started to grow back right away and she had stubble all over - she just laughed and said "It figures" and shaved it all back off again! You look great and Good Luck with everything!!!

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CIVIAV 9/9/2011 9:31AM

    Your blog brought me down memory lane! You have more months of ease to look forward to now. I remember worrying terribly that losing my hair would be awful. As a matter of fact it was really freeing.

I love your smile and that won't fall off knowing your indomitable spirit!

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NMMAMA2011 9/8/2011 7:43PM

    I think you look lovely. I personally have never had to ask this question because my part burns every chance it gets, leaving me with peeling scalp skin and painful brushing and washing every time. Your racing stripe is not noticeable from the front and it is actually kind of cool! I am so glad I happened upon your blog. My mom will start chemo next week. I will encourage her to read this. You have such a positive attitude!

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ANGELCOWBOY1 9/8/2011 7:01PM

    You look BEAUTIFUL!!! My SIL did this same thing when she went through her chemo and my DB went with and took photos. How fortunate you both are to have such supportive & loving spouses. God bless you and I'm praying you beat this nasty disease! emoticon

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LAURIE5658 9/8/2011 6:52PM

    Dahling, you look mah-velous!! What a smile! Love you, my friend!!!


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ACTIVE_AT_60 9/8/2011 6:49PM

    Like others I love the attitude - and don't forget the baseball cap or bandana - you don't want to get sunburned.

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DIANAOR1 9/8/2011 6:17PM

    You have a great attitude and you look fabulous! emoticon

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 9/8/2011 6:00PM

    You are SOO amazing!!! I am so proud of you!! Cannot wait to meet you in 2 weeks. I agree with Carlannie, you look fantastic bald! :o)

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MOMONTHERUN1 9/8/2011 6:00PM

    You have a great attitude and an amazing spouse! You also have a great shaped head and look fantastic bald. Hang in there and yes your hair will grow back and I think that you are also a very brave and strong willed woman.


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CARLANNIE 9/8/2011 5:47PM

    What a terrific smile and attitude to go along with this new 'adventure' in your life. Shaving sounds much better than finding small hamsters residing on your pillow, lol! I think you actually look quite fantastic bald. Great, tan, btw.

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Fighting Cancer = Warrior Dash

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On August 20, I participated in the Warrior Dash race in Copper Mountain, Colorado. For those who donít know what this is, it is actually only a 5K race. What makes it a challenge are the obstacles each participant must face as they go through the race course. I was honored to be able to not only do it, but to do it with my 18 year old son, Jeremy and good friend Karen.

When I signed up for this race late last year, I was excited, but somewhat nervous having never done anything even close to this type of event. I planned on getting in shape for the race by doing boot camp a couple times per week along with my usual training for half marathons. Then in January, 2011 I fell and injured both hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. I could still walk, but boot camp and all forms of weight training were now off the table. Even facing this setback I still planned on doing the race. Slowly my arms et al showed signs of healing, but would they be good enough? Iíd do the race no matter what.

Then in late April, I started experiencing pain in my right side. Along with this was just a general malaise. After doing a half marathon the pain faded and I felt better. At the end of May came a 10K and along with the days leading up to it came pain in my left side. But, knowing I can handle race pain and with my son by my side, I decided to do the race. Part way through the race, the pain faded and I was able to finish. However, the next day the pain was back in spades. Time for a trip to the doctor, something I donít do lightly.

After an exam and x-ray, nothing was found. Must be ďgas,Ē go home and take some gas prevention medicine was what I was told. Surprisingly and coincidently the pain went away. I suddenly felt better than I had for months.

Then another half marathon came along on the last Saturday of June. This time the pain was back on the right side. My son reminded me, the pain seems to go away with the race. So I did the race, and sure enough by mile 4, no more pain. I finished in much better shape than I had the previous year. Sunday, I was tired and a bit sore, but good. Then Monday came and so did pain so severe that I couldnít focus and could barely think. I had to go back to the doctor only this time I wanted a diagnosis no matter what it was.

After telling their best diagnostician my story and telling him I could ďtryĒ to get through the night, he sent me directly to the hospital for a stat CT scan. I was to wait at the hospital until the doctor called. When the phone rang I heard the words that would make anyoneís heart sink. You have enlarged lymph nodes, the radiologist says it looks like Lymphoma, it appears you have cancer. The evening brought tears and fears, but the next day brought out my race persona and the peace of mind that I could not only beat this, but would beat this.

After finally meeting with my oncologist, having 4 surgical procedures in 3 weeks and a myriad of other tests it was time to schedule my first chemo infusion.

Now a new concern, would chemo stop me from doing the Warrior Dash? Not if I could keep it from doing so. So chemo happened on Tuesday, August 16, our Dash wave was at 11:30 a.m. on the 20th.

I met the challenge of the Dash with my son and friend Karen. It took us 1:40, but it was the most amazing 1:40 I have had in a long time. Karen and Jeremy were with me through the whole race. I had race officials who I told that this battle was more than just a race because of my newly diagnosed cancer cheering me on. I had an OMG-orgeous young man help me through an obstacle and I did a race that some thought is crazy in the best of health.

As I look back on the Warrior Dash, I realize it is an analogy for the other battle I have to face - Lymphoma.

I signed up and made the commitment - I have to see it through.

I went into it with those I love and trust.

There will be obstacles that try to defeat me and the ones in the Warrior Dash relate directly to my cancer battle.

Obstacle 1 - Rope climb up a short steep hill - This was having to get out of the initial pit I was thrown into when I heard the preliminary diagnosis. I had to grab the rope and pull myself out.

Obstacle 2 - Hanging Tires - These were all the things that kept slowing me down to get to the final diagnosis. These also represent the surgical procedures and tests I had to go through. But because we were the last ones through and we did it purposefully it was easy to make our way through the swinging tires without getting banged up or waylaid.

Obstacle 3 - Walls and Rails - We had to climb over the waist plus high walls then go under the rails topped with barbed wire (5 each). This is where I told the officials about my ďotherĒ battle. They started cheering me on, my son & friend did the same. Here, sometimes you can climb over, but sometimes you are prevented from this by an additional obstacle, so you have to find another way through. Having someone cheer you on be it friend or stranger will help you. Still healing from surgery, having chemo right before the race with the possibility of major side effects was like going over and under this obstacle.

Now a long walk with a slippery slope to get to the next obstacle - What I will be doing with every cycle of chemo. But I still had support, from both strangers and loved ones.

Obstacle 4 - Mud Pit - Fresh dirt was just added and it did itís best to suck off my shoe, but I stopped, refocused, got my shoe on and enjoyed being cheered through the muck, as my son floated on his back through the pit beside me. Yes, Iíll be getting dirty, side effects will try to suck me down, but if I enjoy the company of others around me, and reach out for help if needed, Iíll get out of the mud so I can keep going.

Obstacle 5 - Bungee Web - This was a large number of bungees stretched across the trail like a very confused spider web. It was on an off-camber slope, that was covered with the mud that fell off of participants. Part way through I got stuck. I didnít know which way to go to get past all the cords. I couldnít get my footing. Then a stranger offered his hand and his guidance, and he helped me break free, then he was gone. I realize that there will be times I need to take the hand of someone, maybe even a total stranger to get me through. Itís not being weak, itís being smart.

Now it was time to pause at the water station. I take what I can get, wash the mud off my water bottle and we are off again. Take what is offered with an open hand and heart, and clean off a bit of the mud to keep yourself hydrated and healthy.

Obstacle 6 - Dark Tube Crawl - It was a culvert filled with rocks and draped in black fabric. This one I didnít do. I wanted to stay on my feet and not let my legs get scraped and cut on the rocks inside. Even though I know there was light at the end of the tunnel I also know I have to stay on my feet as much as possible.

Obstacle 7 - Plank Walk - Planks were from 4 to 8 inches wide. It was up 45 degrees, down, across, up and then back down 45 degrees with a height of about 10-12 feet. I started with holding on to the plank as I ďwalkedĒ up it, but when I got to the transition point I realized I had to stand up straight, focus, look ahead, stay balanced and accept a hand if necessary. Everything I know I will have to do through my cancer battle.

Obstacle 8 - Hellís Hill - Up and across a ski slope with lots of gullies and rocks. My son stayed with me and stopped when I needed, which was at each gully. He pointed out beautiful wildflowers when I needed something else to focus on other than fatigue. The hill will be the cumulation of the next 18 weeks, and even though I am staying focused, I am going to need to have distractions along the way to let my mind and body rest.

Obstacle 9 - Horizontal Cargo Net Crawl - 30 plus feet of cargo net lying 10 feet about the ground and with every move of participants the center of gravity and net tension is changed. I know that every chemo infusion will possibly bring different side effects, but I will have to just keep going, not allowing myself to fall through the holes; and crossing backward is allowed because sometimes going forward backward just allows your to stay stable, because youíve see where you have already been.

Obstacle 10 - A-frame Drop - Climb 20 feet up wide spaced rungs, climb down 3 feet and then hang and slide 10 feet down the other side to the ground.

Obstacle 11 - A-frame Cargo Net Climb - Climb up and down a 30 foot tall a-frame structure on cargo nets.

Obstacle 12 - A-frame Wall Climb - Using a knotted rope climb up a 30 foot tall a-frame wall then climb down the rungs on the back side.

Obstacles 10-12, I opted out of doing during the race, not because I felt I couldnít do them, but because I felt at this point I shouldnít do them out of safety for myself. When battling cancer, even though Iíd like to do everything I may normally do, I understand that some of those things are better left for another day when I am physically strong enough to not cause harm. So those 3 obstacles are the ones I will be aiming for next year. I will be stronger and healthy and those obstacles represent the life that will be coming after treatment.

Obstacle 13 - Fire Jump - This was 2 sections of fire 2 feet or so deep completely across the course with flames 2 to 3 feet high. My son and I actually ďjoggedĒ toward it because I knew it would take a bit more momentum than a walk to safely traverse the fire. Yes, over the last few weeks and next several months, even though walking is my way, I have had and will have to occasionally run to get the momentum going and keep it going as I fight for my life.

Finally, the finish line came, and we all know what that means. It's time to celebrate and continue to live life to it's fullest no matter what obstacles are thrown in my path.

So, thank you Warrior Dash for teaching me what I need to know to fight cancer and how to live my life as I do so.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAGRACER 9/7/2011 1:12PM

    Warrior Janet, thanks for the inspiration!

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SPARKLEMAMMY 9/6/2011 4:22PM

    I just wanted to wish you well in your journey you are a star emoticon

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MARCYNA 9/6/2011 9:47AM

    Janet, I can only congratulate & keep you in my prayers!!!

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LAURACONNER 9/2/2011 11:08PM

    OMG - I am a puddle of tears - you are so positive, upbeat, strong, determined and did i say positive ++ without a doubt you have the right attitude that we enable you to do anything - even beating the C word. I can't say thank you enough for your uplifting attitude that you still help others - when God created you Janet - he gave you the best of himself. God bless. emoticon

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CARLANNIE 9/1/2011 9:42AM

    I've been on vacation and am just getting caught up with my SP friends. I am so glad that you persisted with getting a diagnosis for your pain. Wonderful analogy with the WD - print it out and keep it handy to read again when times get tough. And congrats on finishing the race. You can beat this cancer, one day at a time! (((HUGS)))

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TOOKES519 8/31/2011 1:44PM

    I am in complete tears as I read your blog. You are amazing!!!! I have a friend that did the Warrior Dash here in Michigan this year and ended up breaking her ankle, but she wants me to do it with her next year. I told her, no not ever I was scared I couldn't make it through and it would be way to hard for me, but now that I read your blog I may have to change my mind and think of it as you have. I have beat cancer dangit!!!! I certainly make it through this obstacle course.

Thank you for being an inspiration!!!!


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SP_COACH_NANCY 8/30/2011 4:42PM

  Janet, you know my friend that I have a plethora of prayers headed your way. You are my inspiration. No matter how tough the battle, you do not let it defeat you. Love ya!!!

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IRISHBEANERGAL 8/28/2011 10:50PM


Still kickin' butt, and takin' names I see... WELL DONE!


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HDHAWK 8/28/2011 9:15PM

    Fabulous blog! Amazing! Sending healthy vibes your way!

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SPARKGUY 8/28/2011 5:06PM

    Thanks for sharing both of your battles -- we're all with you!


is (SparkGuy)


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MIQUEY73 8/27/2011 2:30PM

    emoticon Great lessons and amazing insight!

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JETTANALA 8/26/2011 3:51PM

    My Niece did the warrior dash in Indiana this year and she wants to come to my state and do it with me next year... After reading this... I may just find the courage to do it.... Thank you so much and may God and his army be beside you in your couragous fight!

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LAURIE5658 8/26/2011 3:17PM

    Janet, there you go again sharing all that inspiration that is you. My dear, YOU are an amazing person and I will not let you forget that!!


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CMHARRISON12 8/26/2011 2:14PM

    Warrior Woman!! Wow! Thank you for the words that brought pictures (I felt like I was there watching you all along!) Your perserverance is incredible and inspiring.

Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits. ~Robert Brault

You are my hero!! emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 8/26/2011 1:34PM

    Release the BEAST!!! you are WARRIOR STRONG!!! way to go!

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SRVFREAK176 8/25/2011 11:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/24/2011 2:59PM

    You are a true warrior and an inspiration. I believe you will be victorious in this battle, and I'll be rooting for you all the way.

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TURNED51 8/24/2011 12:43PM

What a lesson you are teaching all of us that know you. If you can do it and see in your mind then you can make it happen. I'm just thankful that you are taking control and kicking butt.
Right on sister, I'll help in every way I can.
Kisses and pennies

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IRIE_KEY 8/24/2011 11:06AM

    You, my virtual friend, are an amazing woman! emoticon

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CBAILEYC 8/24/2011 10:52AM

    Amazing lessons. You ARE a warrior! Battle on.
emoticon emoticon

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CIVIAV 8/24/2011 9:49AM

    Woohoo a warrior!

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FAERY_FACE 8/24/2011 5:11AM

    Fantastic blog. You are amazing. emoticon

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ANGELCOWBOY1 8/23/2011 10:51PM


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PURPLEALLY 8/23/2011 10:47PM

You blew me away!!!!

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EUPHRATES 8/23/2011 10:35PM

    Wow. Just wow.
I'm doing the WD here in Ohio on 9/10, and I've been nervous...suddenly I'm inspired. Running it for YOU!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 8/23/2011 10:31PM

    Holy smokes! I have met many people with cancer - but you are one heck of a fighter. Make sure you get in touch with the leukemia and lymphoma society ( for support and you may want to check out

I love when people take charge of their cancer and not the other way around.

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MAMADWARF 8/23/2011 10:11PM

    OMG. You are amazing. I am so impressed, really. I have a daughter (21) with crohns disease. She had a complete anus, rectum and colon removal in feb. One of her treatments put her at risk for Lymphoma. She has the same warrior spirit as you and it is a privelege to watch her eat life up and get all she can out of it. I am especially happy to be seeing the same thing in you. I am humbled by your strength. Wow. (and I do not say that lightly). My best wishes, prayers and energy for you, my dear. Jan

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SOCKITTOME 8/23/2011 10:07PM

    Wow wow wow...I don't know what else to say, except that you will be in my prayers. Wow.

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TERRYT55 8/23/2011 10:03PM

    I loved reading this blog......I felt like I was there with you, navigating every obstacle. You are so brave, so positive, so inspiring. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You are amazing!

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BOOPSTER69 8/23/2011 9:38PM

    Janet, this life is so much better for having you as my friend and mentor. I look forward to being at your side when necessary and the boot in your backside when called for -even when you haven't made the call. I know that you will conquer this - You are a true WARRIOR and I love you! emoticon emoticon

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LINDAJ0621 8/23/2011 8:47PM

    Totally awesome spirit! Exactly what will see you emerge victorious from your battle with the big C!!! I am a year and a half cancer survivor and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your warrior heart will get you there!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CALIDREAMER76 8/23/2011 8:24PM

    It brought tears to my eyes. You are a true sparkperson - focused forward!
I will be sharing this - and I pray that I will find your blog about the Warrior Dash 2012 next year!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/23/2011 7:51PM

    You are amazing!

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SLEEPYDEAN 8/23/2011 7:43PM

    Wow! I'd been wondering where you've been the past few months and I guess that sums it up perfectly. Congrats on getting through those obstacles and continuing to fight your way through the course ahead.

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RUNNER12COM 8/23/2011 6:57PM

    This may be the most inspired bit of thinking I have read. You are an amazing woman and soon to be one of the most kick-a$$ cancer survivors the world has ever seen.

You are simply awesome. And others should know about you and your amazing spirit, so I took a few moments and shared your story with others:


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RELLIMTENAJ 8/23/2011 6:15PM

    PJBONARRIGO - Thank you for your kind words and prayers.

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PJBONARRIGO 8/23/2011 6:11PM

    Thank you for sharing this with us, this is one of the most moving things I have ever read. I was so inspired by your story and your courage. God Bless you; I'm praying for your healing and success.

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The "C" Word

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What would you do it you heard the ďCĒ word?

Of course that ďCĒ word is cancer.

Would you cry?

Go into denial?

Beg God to fix you?

Question, ďWhy me?Ē

Allow fear to take over?

It would be easy to do any or all of these things, but for me...

I actually heard the "C" word or in my case the ďLĒ word or Lymphoma over the phone from my doctor. Iím actually grateful that he told me with no messing around, but needless to say I was initially in shock. I handed off the phone to my husband so he could hear the same words. Now, I was to go home, try to sleep through the night, which I actually did and then Iíd be on the phone with my oncologist the next day; my oncologist... hmmm two words I never thought I would be saying. I went home with tears and fears and told my two sons.

My office visit with the oncologist wouldnít come for 8 days, plenty of time to consider what was happening to me and research that word. But it could also be 8 days that could paralyze me.

Itís kind of funny, the next day I had to get out for a walk to clear my head. During the walk I ran into a lady whose dog I like to pet and I told her. She turned out to be an 11 year cancer survivor. She had the calm demeanor that I needed. I returned home with total peace about my situation. I was going to fight this and win, so it was time to get things moving.

I had a core biopsy, laparoscopic biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, and port surgery plus lab work, a CT scan, a PET scan, an ECG and started chemo in just over a month.

It turns out that the initial tears and fears have been my only negative emotions to go with this diagnosis. I told my son that I wanted my pain diagnosed, no matter what it was. I got that. I told my oncologist I wanted to know exactly what I had and how to treat it. I got that. I then told my oncologist that I want to kill it. Iím in that process right now.

You may think Iím in denial, youíd be wrong. I know exactly what I am facing. However, I believe that any negative thoughts from me or others around me will only do me harm. Will I have bad days? Iím sure I will, but staying active by walking daily, continuing to do my races (yes Iíve been give permission to do so), and looking only toward the positive are the things along with the medical side that will KILL this cancer and not allow it to return. So donít feel sorry for me, have no pity. If you think of me only think positively and you will be helping me heal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 9/6/2011 9:42AM

    This is great!!You will beat it, just like athletes like Lance Armstrong did!!! emoticon

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LAURACONNER 9/2/2011 10:58PM

    Janet - You are amazing and I know that with your strength, your family, your faith and conviction - that you will overcome all obstacles and come out - the winner that you are. The fact that you have reached out to me with everything that you are dealing with yourself - is making me cry - really. Thank you so much and it is giving me the kick in the pants i need to pull myself out of my issues. God bless. emoticon

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TOOKES519 8/31/2011 1:25PM

    As a 3 year Cervical Cancer Survivor myself I can totally relate to this blog. All the fears, emotions and questions are so real. Your attitude is amazing and I wish you all the best. I am adding you as a friend so I can continue to watch your progress and hopefully offer you some kind words along the way.



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IRISHBEANERGAL 8/28/2011 10:44PM

    Go out and kick butt and take names - kill it dead.. and thrive! My positive thoughts will be with you daily!


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REDSHOES2011 8/28/2011 10:36PM

    What a rude and very unprofessional doctor giving a serious diagnosis over the phone.. Most people are reeling and need answers.. I send good wishes hope you beat this..

Comment edited on: 8/28/2011 10:38:36 PM

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CSIEBENROCK 8/28/2011 9:09AM

    Sending positive thoughts your way. You WILL beat this.

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EPHSTOP43 8/26/2011 4:38PM

    You are an amazing woman! I will be keeping positive thoughts about you as well. You can fight it!!!

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MIRAGE727 8/26/2011 4:33PM

    I had to read you blog and glad I did. You see the winners that have been there and walked out the front door. I can tell you that my positive attitude helped me in the past challenges and my present challenges. It is the best medicine that you can give yourself. Keep living those positive waves! I will keep you in my prayers and wish you all the best.

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HIKINGSD 8/26/2011 3:52PM

    Your outlook is refreshing. Thank you for sharing. You are strong and you will KILL this!

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LAURIE5658 8/26/2011 3:12PM

    Janet, I had a feeling that you were dealing with something like this from a few things you have said in the past. YOU WILL BEAT THIS BEAST! I will support you any way I can just like you have always been there for me. NOW LETS GO AND DO!!!!!!!!!


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ON2VICTORY 8/26/2011 1:36PM

    Wow, I am amazed at your strength and resolve.

thank you for setting the example.

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TERIANA 8/26/2011 12:11PM

    Sending you light and love and lots of healing energy...

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SARAHSSUNSHINE 8/24/2011 11:13AM

    You have an amazing attitude that is inspiring to not only people who have never experienced cancer, but for those who have or who are going through the process now. It is so hard to remain positive in the face of a diagnosis, but I am a firm believer that positivity forces your body to fight that much harder. You can't give up, and you're not doing that. You're racing and you're writing and you are, for me, a huge inspiration. :) Keep doing what you're doing and I'll be thinking of you and your family while you go through your struggles here.

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CIVIAV 8/24/2011 9:47AM

    You've got what it's gonna take. I am 4+ years clear of breast cancer and the determined peace is what will carry you through whatever you're gonna face. You're gonna beat it and really live life while you do. Rock it woman!

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MSBLT82 8/24/2011 9:13AM

    I am a lymphoma survivor and have been officially "clear" for over 10 years now. Good luck with your fight! And if you want to talk to someone who has been there, feel free to spark mail me. emoticon emoticon

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KJDOESLIFE 8/24/2011 8:33AM

    Great attitude. Go kick some cancer butt!

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KKINNEA 8/24/2011 12:19AM

    You are bearing up so well - congrats to you. Keep those positive thoughts flowing!

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MAMADWARF 8/23/2011 10:07PM

    You know what? You already have it beat. You have the attitude you need, the weapons you need to FIGHT! Kick that cancer's AZZ!

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TERRYT55 8/23/2011 9:57PM

    WOW......the last word I would think of is denial after reading your blog. I think you are ready to kick lymphoma's butt! Your positive attitude will save your life.

A close friend has beaten breast cancer and two bouts with melanoma and is still alive to brag about it 25 years later. She is in excellent health and takes great care of herself. She has that same positive.....just tell me how to kill it.....attitude.

You rock!

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CMHARRISON12 8/23/2011 9:08PM

    I really appreciate your decision to choose your attitude! I truly believe that your attitude can really make a difference!! March on SparkFriend, and hang on to that sense of self, with peace! Thanks for sharing, and I will be following.


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MOMONTHERUN1 8/23/2011 9:02PM

    Janet, you will get through this. Your attitude is amazing and so is your determination.

Lianne emoticon

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BUZZINGCAT 8/23/2011 8:44PM

    Prayers and the power of positive thinking work great together! You have both...our prayers and your great attitude.

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CALIDREAMER76 8/23/2011 8:11PM

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Attitude!
You have found peace and seem to have handed it over to THE healer - and Heal he will - and use you as an example to guide others to Him.
God Continue to bless and keep you and your family!

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HDHAWK 8/23/2011 8:08PM

    You have a marvelous attitude and it will get you through treatment and back to healthy in no time! Sending positive vibes your way. emoticon

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JIVANA108 8/23/2011 7:45PM

    Janet you are in my prayers for all the strength, courage, and faith and love you need to come your way:)

You are stronger than you think you are!

If you ever decide during or after chemo tx that you're interested in alternative medicine as an onocology rn and oncology massage therapist if its ok with you I can give some suggestions that I've seen help during and after chem
Best of luck to you:)

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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/23/2011 7:44PM

    A good friend of mine is in remission. Your attitude will go a long way. Definitely look into the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They have been a really big help for her.

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MYOWNHERO 8/23/2011 7:39PM

    Best wishes for your healing and comfort.

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DANA564 8/23/2011 7:31PM

    Love your attitude. Wishing you continued strength in your fight! God Bless you!

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THECRAZYMANGO 8/23/2011 7:18PM

    I love your positive attitude!!! emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 8/23/2011 7:04PM

    Denial? Pfft. As if. It isn't denial if you know that you are the one in control and the one who will decide to survive and thrive. It's determination. And you, lady, have it!

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 8/23/2011 6:01PM

    Janet, you are so strong! A positive attitude will go a LONG way!!

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CO_VANESSA 8/23/2011 5:33PM

    Janet - I'm so sorry to hear you've been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Please remain positive because a good attitude can only help with the physical aspect of what you are facing. I don't know if you remember, but I do a lot of work with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Look them up for any resources you may need. You're in my prayers...

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